Manager Chris Wilder is overseeing a complete transformation of Boro’s goalkeeping ranks this summer, having seemingly not been impressed with what he saw from Joe Lumley and Luke Daniels during the 2021-22 season.
Lumley has already been shipped out on loan to second tier rivals Reading, and a new number one will be sought in the coming weeks.
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Roberts though has now arrived at the Riverside Stadium on a two-year deal to challenge another fresh face who is set to join in the coming weeks.
The 27-year-old spent the 2021-22 season at League Two side Northampton Town, where he picked up not only the club’s Player of the Year award, but also the Players’ Player of the Year.
Prior to that, Roberts had spent his whole career at local club Walsall, where he made 131 league appearances, but it is his performances for the Cobblers that attracted the attention of Boro, who have swooped for his services on a free transfer.
This isn’t a major deal for Middlesbrough and it won’t get the pulses of supporters racing exactly, but one that was necessary.
Wilder has realised that he needs to drastically overhaul his choice of goalkeepers and he has already gotten to work on that, with Roberts now able to provide adequate back-up and give a solid option in cup games.
Roberts will know he is coming in to play second fiddle to someone else when it’s all said and done, but his performances for Northampton last season were deserving of a move up the EFL pyramid regardless.
Perhaps he could have secured a contract elsewhere where he would have been guaranteed first-team football, but he will likely get the odd chance at Boro, as well as a pay-rise, and he will be chomping at the bit to prove his worth.